Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Travel Blogs from Kohala Coast
... it is always great coming back to Hawaii. One thing I realized today while getting my passport stamped leaving Guatemala is that even with all the travel I've done in the last 2 months, there is a lot more blank pages in the passport that are begging to be filled. So much to see. Get out, see the world, experience ...
... of Australia winning the third test and reclaiming the Ashes. I had the commentary from cricinfo.com running on my phone and Nathan Lyon had just got Graeme Swann out (caught by Steve Smith) making England 8/347... only two wickets from regaining the Urn.
The waitress could sense our excitement as she was taking our order... probably mainly because I exclaimed GOOOONE! followed by Zac cheering, right in the middle of Sal saying "I think we'll have the chicken pizza ...
1st December - Sunday
Up and on our way north, this time seeing the west coast with our new toys.
First stop was Puako, a nice beach, we went snorkeling but it wasn't real clear, we played with our cameras and this is a poor shot of a fish, this was taken with my camera, will try to do better. The water was quite rough and it was tough going and that's why the water was cloudy.
Puako beach ...
... Cook read the English burial service for William Whatman (I don't know who he was) it was the first recorded Christian service in the Hawaiian Islands but that wasn't what we were looking for. We asked some other tourists who pointed to a white Obelisk across the bay, but now you can only get to it by water, this is the spot where Captain Cook was killed by the natives.
We did a bit of an explore, went to the supermarket then home, we were both pretty tired.
... large groups and Buddhist retreats. Night-time quiet was lovely in contrast to recent noise of traffic heard from hotel rooms. Instead, cacophony of interesting noises sounded like assorted insects, birds and frogs (tiny thumb-nail introduced species that has thrived).
Stretch of coast didn't have extensive sandy beaches, instead being black lava flow rocks but fantastic near-shore snorkelling renowned for green turtle viewing. Visited Kealakekua Bay Park as ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Kohala Coast
I can only think that either I stayed at the wrong hotel or every other reviewer of this hotel has only previously stayed at Motel 6s. The only thing this hotel has going for it is the location - the beach, golf course and tennis facilities are beautiful. BUT, the hotel itself is a dump with dreadful service and awful food. We reserved both the most expensive suites and premium ocean view rooms. They all were tiny, furnished with cheap wicker and ktichy prints, and without any ammenities (11" TV, phone from 1980 and a mini-fridge - oh and some nice orange flip flops). Views were obstructed by unruly trees / vines. Cockroaches and rats seen in room. Minimal dining options. Beach chairs/umbrellas ancient and falling apart. Pool tiny and packed. Exercise room musty and a joke. Staff seem to be the only people in Hawaii who are unpleasant. I stayed at the Ritz in Maui for less money and was treated like a prince. Unless you will spend all day on the golf course, avoid this hotel like the plague.
We did exactly what the previous writer did. We had reservations at the Hilton but decided to change to the Mauna Kea. Having stayed at the Hilton before- it is like Disneyland and we wanted quiet and a beach. We were glad we switched because we had dinner at the Hilton a couple of nights and I've never seen it so crowded- even for a place that is so spread out. The Mauna Kea has a loyal following of guests that stay at this hotel, generation after generation, so it was an easy decision. Mauna Kea's location is the most beautiful on the island- I couldn't stop snapping pictures of the beach from every vantage point. I can't say enough about the rooms. They were awesome! They have marble floors and an entire wall of screen door, glass or shutters so you can fall asleep listening to the ocean. It was quiet, we did not hear other guests at all and we found no bugs whatsoever. They leave flip flops (cute orange Mauna Kea branded ones- but for some reason only had size 91/2 for women- way too big), slippers and robes. The staff was very pleasant and helpful. My fiance played golf and I rode along to take pictures. He wasn't convinced when I changed our reservation, he was stuck on the Hilton, but he's definitely changed his opinion now and wants the Mauna Kea to be the place we stay whenever we are on the Big Island.
Just returned from two weeks in Hawaii. My wife and I originally planned four nights at the Hilton Waikoloa. One week before going we started to have second thoughts. Nothing against the Hilton, but decided that it may be too large for the experience we wanted - quiet time, beach, good location for access to other island attractions. So after doing some research, starting with Trip Advisor, we came across a Hot Deal at the Mauna Kea and changed our reservation. Boy, are we glad we did!
This must rank as one the most beautiful places on Earth. So relaxing, never hurried. Not a new place, it's nicely worn in - though I could point out a few spots in need of a fix, so don't worry, it's not too perfect. The beach, the people and the delightful grounds make it better than any other hotel we saw...The beach is supposedly one of, if not the best beach on the island. We stayed at the beginning of our circle round the island, and at the end, before we had to drag ourselves home. Nobody wanted to leave. They have a lovely open bar-lounge to watch the sunset go down - complete with live Hawaiian music (gentle) and a dancer (very nice.) Once you've heard the myriad birds in the morning, seen the several cats that live on the grounds, or the parrots or the fish - you have to wonder if it's worth going home. Leave it all and stay with mother nature. I wish I had. We had a small problem with our room on the return stay, which wasn't really resolved at all. We were checked into a smoking room (we don't smoke) which was smaller than the first we'd had, and all despite what our booking was made for - a front desk supervisor asked if it was a 'hot deal' we were on, so I guess that was how they decided to fix (or not fix) the problem, as THEY didn't have the room we booked and confirmed (more about 'hot deal' rates below - they are way cheaper than the regular discounts) and WE did feel for that time like we had come with a coupon book (not nice) and got stuffed in a pokier and stinkier room as our punishment (which isn't very ono at all). They had maybe 5 staff in and out of the room doing things - as if they hadn't expected us to arrive that night and we selfishly did - maybe the room was not cleaned? Rather odd we thought, a small disaster in paradise. Despite that, I will forgive them. Although I am jealous they get to work in such a heavenly place. Perhaps I should hold it against them for the rest of their lives? Prince Hotels has a newer, similar hotel on Hawaii right next door (Hapuna Beach Prince) and they have resorts on Maui and Waikiki which look as impressive. Then again, surely nothing compares to this place? I don't care if they're bigger or more... anything. This place works as a restful retreat. There's magic in the air. We'd go back in a heartbeat, despite feeling like the poor relations to the front desk supervisor. And drink virgin pina coladas as the sun sets once more...Ahhhh... TRAVEL-TIP: Look on the website www.princeresortshawaii.com, choose your hotel, then look for a link for "Hot Deals" - rates can be way lower than any booking agency and these are direct from the hotel itself. Often something like breakfast or golftime is bundled in. Which you may need - Full Breakfast Buffet is $26. But it is very nice (!) And the setting on the lanai will take your breath away, even if you did arrive on a discount coupon... -dph.
Found the whole experience delightful! Rooms very well appointed and cozy, food delicious, beach beautiful, and staff extremely helpful and friendly. I loved how the beach staff helped set up the cabana's and having lunch delivered to you on the beach was pure paradise. A visit to the canoe house is a must, but the rest of the food starts to taste the same. Luckily, there is a small shopping center 3 miles away with nice restaurants. The occupancy is fairly small-only 300 rooms but the property itself it quite large.
Incredible Attention to Detail
My partner and I have been going to the Big Island every year since 1989 and we've stayed at all of the major Waikoloa resorts, and in our opinion the Mauna Kea is, hands down, the best overall experience on that part of the island.
What amazes us away every time we've been there is the incredible, almost sublime attention to detail. The grounds are spotless, everything is where it should be, and service is first-rate -- never intrusive, yet always there when you need it. In fact, at the Mauna Kea we always feel as if we have the hotel all to ourselves, a feeling we've definitely never had at the Hilton, Mauna Lani, Orchid or any of the other Waikoloa resorts.
We can't recommend this hotel highly enough!
Truly relaxing, truly fun, truly Hawaii
I have stayed at the Mauna Kea Beach hotel nearly every year for over 30 years, and I hope to continue my record. The property is very large, which helps give the resort such a relaxed, uncrowded feeling. Unlike other hotels, you don't have to stake out your lounge chair before breakfast. Watching the sunset at the bar is one of the best things you will ever do. The golf and tennis facilities are outstanding. The rooms feel Hawaiian, and the hotel is filled with authentic Hawaiian and Polynesian antiques.
We stayed in seven hotels during our two week stay on three islands.
Our family spent 6 days at the Mauna Kea and enjoyed it emensely. This is the 4th time we've stayed at the MKBH over the past 13 years, we can not wait to return again. MKBH was an original Rock Resort....and it shows. The Rockefeller's are known for matching architectural designs with the natural beauty of the surroundings. The private beach, which is steps away from your room, is the only natural white sand beach on the Kohala coast. Although ownership has changed hands a few times over the years, the charm and peacefulness of MKBH has endured.
My husband and I have just returned from having our wedding at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. We spent a year wondering if it was the right location & it definitely was. After the wedding we visited all of the other resorts we had considered, most notably the Four Seasons & the Orchid. While both the Four Seasons and the Orchid are gorgeous, the Mauna Kea has MUCH better wedding venues. The hotel location is breathtaking, the grounds are the absolute best and the locations available for weddings are much more private than at the other hotels. We searched ALL over the internet for photos, reviews etc. to no avail. We were apprehensive until we turned off of the highway and entered the resort -- it was *beautiful*. Some of the other resorts are newer and are more flash, but the stunning location, the fantastic service, cool architecture and the pounding surf of the Mauna Kea make it a great choice.